The Regent Palms offers escape plan in Turks and Caicos

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Although it is the most densely developed island in the Turks and Caicos archipelago, Providenciales remains a Caribbean oasis that continues to deliver vacationers from the wear and tear of everyday life, despite its now near-urban vibe.

The luxurious Regent Palms Turks and Caicos, an oasis in its own right, on Grace Bay Beach, takes that sense of escape a few steps further.

The understated elegance of the Regent Palms, called the Palms Turks and Caicos until Regent took it over a year ago, recalls the aesthetics and architecture of a bygone era, according to Diderik Van Regemorter, the resort's general manager.

That elegance begins at the resort's coral stone entrance and open veranda, which serves as the check-in area, and the formal gardens beyond.

Facing the veranda is the Mansion, the resort's epicenter and the location of Parallel 23, a restaurant that serves three meals a day as well as afternoon tea and cocktails.

Five oceanview buildings, configured in a semicircle flanking the infinity pool and swim-up bar, house the 72 guest suites at the resort.

The well-appointed units feature Viking appliances, marble floors, mahogany furniture, spa tubs and queen-size beds with 400-thread-count, Egyptian cotton sheets.

The suites are so comfortable that guests may find it hard to leave. In fact, they don't have to: The resort can arrange in-room chef service, with advance notice, and the on-site spa can provide a massage for two on guests' terraces. 

While the oceanfront rooms are the most desirable, "there really is not a bad seat in the house," according to Van Regemorter.

Large windows give an airy, open feel to the rooms, and the resort, much like surrounding resorts, is built low so that the ocean views are unobstructed.

The spa experience

The Regent Palms' spa is a Zen-like delight, built of coral stone and travertine in a simple, elegant design.

A central pool area is flanked by 16 treatment rooms housed in freestanding buildings that reflect the aesthetics of the resort design.

Guests enter the spa through dressing rooms that offer a steam room, a sauna and an attendant who provides towels, water, fresh fruit and teas.

Pilates and yoga classes take place daily in the studio facing the spa's water garden. A fitness center with a range of free weights, weight machines and aerobic equipment is located in the spa complex, as well. Although the center is small, crowding and waiting appear to be rare occurrences.

Rounding out the spa experience is a full-service salon, which also sells spa products used in the various treatments.

Sara Thatcher, the spa director, is fine-tuning the facility by adding a barber shop where men can enjoy a straight-edge shave while watching sports on a flat-screen TV.

Also, six more treatment rooms have been added alongside the existing spa. Winding walkways and tropical flora guide clients to these rooms.

The design of this area, not as formal as the main spa area, offers a more casual alternative.

The units have been designed with special wooden "boxes," which are an integral component of the spa's signature Zareeba, an indigenous island treatment that enables guests to experience herbal steam, cleansing and detoxification rituals in private enclosures.

The treatment includes inhaling aromatic steam from a blend of therapeutic herbs, followed by a cooling wrap and a body massage.

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to [email protected].

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